Rallies against violence in Albany and Troy, the challenge facing low-income school districts, raising money for the "Banjo Man"

On Sunday there was a rally against violence in nearby West Hill, where a man Jorge Falu-Garcia of Albany was fatally shot last Thursday. Police are still looking for the shooter in the case. Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan, at the rally: "This neighborhood is just as important as any other place in this city and we are working to make sure that the people who live here are safe." [TU] [WNYT] [News10] [TWCN]

At a rally Friday in Troy the family of Vanessa Milligan expressed frustration that six months have passed since her death and there's still not been an arrest in the fatal arson case. Said Rensselaer County first assistant district attorney Carmelo Laquidara to the Record: "[W]e're confident that we're gonna get the right person, it's just gonna take time to do that. Time is winding down, we're getting closer." [TU] [Troy Record]

There are questions -- and accusations, and counter accusations -- in Saratoga Springs over the waiving of water connection fees to some developers, including $810k in fees that were waived for prominent developer Sonny Bonacio. [TU]

According to Capital review: "A federal water study commissioned by the Cuomo administration as it weighed a key decision on fracking was edited and delayed by state officials before it was published." [Capital]

Nicholas Khan of Schenectady -- who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting an Albany man during a car chase through Schenectady last November, apparently in retaliation for the alleged theft of a car at gunpoint earlier that day -- was sentenced to 25 years to life. [Daily Gazette]

State Police say an Albany woman was driving the wrong way on westbound side of the Thruway near Exit 26 early Saturday morning when she struck a tractor trailer and spun out. NYSP says she's been charged with DWI and marijuana possession. [NYSP] [Daily Gazette]

A Siena poll out today has Republican challenger George Amedore ahead of Democratic incumbent Cecelia Tkaczyk 52-42 in the state Senate 46th district (margin of error +/- 4.5 points). Tkaczyk very narrowly defeated Amedore in the last election for the then-new seat. SRI also reports that Rob Astorino is polling ahead of Andrew Cuomo in the district. [Siena Research Institute]

Back and forth in the NY 20 Congressional District between incumbent Democrat Paul Tonko and challenging Republican Jim Fischer over economic development. [Daily Gazette]

A campaign profile of this year's state comptroller's race between incumbent Democrat Tom DiNapoli and challenger Republican Robert Antonacci. [AP/Troy Record]

The Times Union continues its scrutiny of Jerome Hauer, the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services commissioner, this time about the delayed payment of a event tab. [TU]

A Times Union review of new federal data on payments made by drug companies to doctors pegs the Capital Region's top doctor recipient at having gotten $182k over the first nine months of 2013. [TU]

A state comptroller's office audit concludes CDTA should be more specific in its policies for discretionary spending and how it accounts for that spending. [NYS OSC]

Schenectady school district superintendent Larry Spring on the challenge facing districts with high levels of poverty among their student populations: "We have to fight and scrap and claw and get things for our kids that in other places, it's a given that kids will have those things." [TU]

Chris Churchill on Arbor Hill's recent designation as one of the nation's "great" neighborhoods, and the struggle the neighborhood still faces. [TU]

This long profile of the careers of outgoing Saratoga County Court judge Jerry Scarano and (almost certainly because he's running unopposed) judge-to-be Jim Murphy also highlights how interconnected a crowd of people can be in a relatively small scene. [Daily Gazette]

A look at the state's "Reforming the Energy Vision" plan, which could push the state's electrical grid toward a more distributed arrangement (example: solar panels on many buildings). [TU]

A woman in Schenectady County is suing her auto insurer after, her suit alleges, it would not pay out underinsured driver coverage for an accident in which she was hit by a pickup truck while riding a horse in Duanesburg. [Daily Gazette]

The developers behind the proposed One Monument Square project have switched architects. [Troy Record]

Saratoga Springs' "Banjo Man" is fighting cancer and there's a fundraiser to help with medical bills. [Saratogian]

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